All animals need to sleep, whether it’s during the day or night. Sleep helps them recover from the day’s activities. If you own a flock of chickens, you may be wondering what time do they sleep.
What Time Do Chickens Sleep? The chicken will go into the coop to sleep when it gets dark. During the winter, daylight is short, and chickens will go to sleep at around 5 to 6 pm. In the summer, when daylight is much longer, the chickens will go to sleep around 7 or 8 pm. The exact time will depend on where you’re located.
Why Do Chickens Go To Sleep Before It’s Dark?
This is due to their survival instinct. Chickens have very poor eyesight at night and will try to find a safe place to sleep before it’s getting dark.
Also, at night is when a lot of predators come out to hunt. This includes raccoons, foxes, and badgers. All of these predators eat chickens and will try to catch any that they can find.
At night is when the chickens are most vulnerable, and they will seek shelter during the evening.
Do Chickens Go To Sleep Themselves?
Most of the time, the chickens will go inside the coop to roost themselves when it gets dark. This is a survival instinct that the chicken has which keeps them alive.
If you have free-ranging chickens, they may stay far away from the coop during the day. As it starts to get dark, they will start to find their way back to the coop. They’ll continue to graze until the sunlight begins to get dimmer.
As their environment gets darker, they slowly start to move into the coop.
Why Do My Chickens Not Return To Their Coop?
Chickens will usually start heading closer to their coop as the daylight get lesser.
However, there are times the chickens may not head back to their coop. This could be several reasons why. Below are some reasons:
- Your chickens wandered too far from the coop and got lost.
- A predator chased them far from their coop.
- A predator is stalking them and the chicken is afraid to head back to the coop.
- One of the chickens broke away from the rest of the flock.
It’s a good idea to do a headcount of how many chickens you have, especially if you let them free-range. In the evening, when the flocks head back to the coop, give a headcount again. If there’s a chicken or more missing, you’ll need to go and look for them.
How Do You Get The Chickens To Return To The Coop?
If you’re having trouble getting your chickens to return to their coop, there are different methods you can try.
Feeding Them At the Same Time Each Evening
When it gets closer to the evening, start by putting out food for them to eat. Make sure you do this at the same time each day. This way, they’ll know what time they should expect to be fed and will come running.
Provide Some Light
A lot of chicken owners see success by installed a little light to the coop.
The light shouldn’t be too bright, 15 watts bulb or even a flashlight will do.
At dusk, turn the light on and the chickens will start to make their way back to the coop.
Once they are in the coop, you can turn the light off. If you don’t have a lot of time, you can use a timer that will automatically turn the light on and off at the set time.
Training Young Chickens
For some young chickens, it will take some time to form the habit. They’ll need time to adapt to the environment and when they need to go inside the coop.
How many hours a day do chickens sleep?
It will depend on the time of the year. During the summer, when the days are longer, they will sleep for about 10-12 hours a night. When it’s winter, the days are shorter and the chickens will sleep more, which they often sleep 15-16 hours a night.